New Zealand Mountan Safety Council

Southern Lakes

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Issued at 17/08/2017 10:12am. Valid till 18/08/2017 6pm

Queenstown

Mountain
Current avalanche advisory
High Alpine

Above 2000 meters

Alpine

1000 to 2000 meters

Sub Alpine

Below 1000 meters

Avalanche Danger Scale
Avalanche Danger Scale
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Primary Avalanche Danger

Dangerous Aspects
high
Danger Rose
3
Highest Danger Rating
Likelihood
indicator
gauge
Certain
Likely
Unlikely
Size
indicator
gauge
Largest
Small
Trend
indicator
gauge
Increasing
No change
Decreasing
Time of day
clock
Time of day
All day
Alpine level
High Alpine: Above 2000m
Alpine: 1000 to 2000m
Low Alpine: Below 1000m
Description:
We have had warm rain on the snowpack to a least 1800 m, the top 30 cms is now moist and un-cohesive. This weakness in the snow is likely to see wet slide activity on most aspects. Stay clear of avalanche run-out zones, steep sided bowls and potential terrain traps for the next 24 hrs.

Secondary Avalanche Danger

Dangerous Aspects
high
Danger Rose
3
Highest Danger Rating
Likelihood
indicator
gauge
Certain
Likely
Unlikely
Size
indicator
gauge
Largest
Small
Trend
indicator
gauge
Increasing
No change
Decreasing
Time of day
clock
Time of day
All day
Alpine level
High Alpine: Above 2000m
Alpine: 1000 to 2000m
Low Alpine: Below 1000m
Description:
We are expecting snow later tonight, expect windslab development throughout the late afternoon.Take extra caution entering slopes from NE to SW which are lee to todays gale winds. Good techniques like only one person at a time on a suspect slope and travelling from safe point to safe point will lessen the potential to overload the slab and initiate an avalanche. Better option is to avoid these areas all together, steep terrain should be avoided for now.

Tertiary Avalanche Danger

Dangerous Aspects
high
Danger Rose
2
Highest Danger Rating
Likelihood
indicator
gauge
Certain
Likely
Unlikely
Size
indicator
gauge
Largest
Small
Trend
indicator
gauge
Increasing
No change
Decreasing
Time of day
clock
Time of day
All day
Alpine level
High Alpine: Above 2000m
Alpine: 1000 to 2000m
Low Alpine: Below 1000m
Description:
We still have concerns about the persistent weak layers. Triggering an avalanche on these layers is becoming harder. Tension and extra weight are now being added to the snowpack with lots of stiff slab and heavy wet snow scattered across different aspects. The weight of a small avalanche could be enough to then propagate a deeper weak layer, events may involve most of the snowpack. Avoid entering avalanche terrain from ridge-crest and be suspicious of convex roll overs, if you encounter a stiff slab be concerned your added weight will be stressing these weak layers.

Recent Avalanche Activity

Recent Avalanche Activity
I suspect we will see some wet slide activity today with overnight rain to high elevations. Still a fragile snowpack at the head of the lake, Glenorchy area where two days ago the 2nd skier in a group triggered a very large avalanche on a NE aspect at around 2000m. Continue to be conservative, treat all steep terrain with respect and watch those entry slopes from the ridge-line, windslab conditions will be building. If you come across areas of stiff windslab choose a more conservative line, expect to encounter isothermic snow conditions below 1800 m.

Current Snowpack Conditions

Current Snowpack Conditions
Today windslab and isothermic conditions will be encountered. Tension and weak layers combine to create a hazard that needs to be avoided. Not a day for the backcountry with plenty of variability within the snowpack. The backcountry is still producing avalanches triggered by users, if you decide to venture out take a conservative approach by keeping to moderate terrain.

Mountain Weather

Mountain Weather
Rain with heavy falls, easing morning. Snow lowering to 1200 m, clearing in the evening. Winds from the NW topping 100 km, easing later. Freezing level rising to 1800 m.


MetService
For more information go to: http://www.metservice.com/mountain/index

Forecast by Chris Cochrane

Avalanche Forecast Regions:
Mountain Safety Council managed websites
Mountainf Safety Council websiteAdventure Smart websiteNew Zealand Avalanche Center